Charlotte Yonge in other writers' books

Agatha Cristie – Evil Under the Sun    Louisa May Alcott – Little Women


Poirot moves in on The Young Stepmother

This extract from Agatha Christie's Evil Under the Sun
(Chapter 8)

To the left of the mantelpiece there were some shelves with a row of books. Hercule Poirot looked thoughtfully along the titles.

A Bible, a battered copy of Shakespeare's plays, The Marriage of William Ashe, by Mrs. Humphry Ward. The Young Stepmother, by Charlotte Yonge. The Shropshire Lad. Eliot's Murder in the Cathedral. Benard Shaw's St Joan. Gone With the Wind, by Margaret Mitchell. The Burning Court, by Dickson Carr.

Poirot took out two books. The Young Stepmother and William Ashe, and glanced inside at the blurred stamp affixed to the title page. As he was about to replace them, his eye caught sight of a book that had been shoved behind the other books. It was a small dumpy volume bound in brown calf ...

Online text available here : http://www.cnajs.com/english/sun/8.htm (search for "Yonge")


Louisa May Alcott's Little Women (1869)

Jo! Jo! where are you?' cried Meg, at the foot of the garret stairs.

'Here!' answered a husky voice from above; and, running up, Meg found her sister eating apples and crying over The Heir of Redclyffe, wrapped up in a comforter on an old three-legged sofa by the sunny window. This was Jo's favourite refuge; and here she loved to retire with half a dozen russets and a nice book, to enjoy the quiet and the society of a pet rat who lived near by, and didn't mind her a particle. As Meg appeared, Scrabble whisked into his hole. Jo shook the tears off her cheeks, and waited to hear the news ...


and from an (as yet unidentified) short story written by Louisa May Alcott ...

I would take Alice’s advice and read up a little now; it’s so nice to know useful things, and be able to find help and comfort in good books when trouble comes, as Ellen Montgomery and Fleda did, and Ethel, and the other girls in Miss Yonge’s stories, " said Eva, earnestly, remembering how much the efforts of those natural little heroines had helped her in her own struggles for self-control and the cheerful bearing of the burdens which come to all.


... and the inevitable nit-picker

In Miss Yonge's Dynevor Terrace a portion of one word was joined on to another with the awkward result that a young lady is described "without stretched arms."

Wheatley, Henry B. : Literary Blunders; A chapter in the "History of Human Error" 1893, page 120 - available from the electronic text center at the University of Virginia Library


At the Chateau of Corinne
A Story, by Constance Fenimore Woolson
page 782

That evening the moonlight on the lake was surpassingly lovely; there was not a ripple to break the sheen of the water, and the clear outline of Mont Blanc rose like silver against the dark black-blue of the sky. They all strolled down to the shore; Mrs. Winthrop went out with Ford in his skiff, “for ten minutes.” Sylvia watched the little boat float up and down for twen ty; then she returned to the house and read for forty more. When Sylvia was down-stairs, she read the third canto of“Childe Harold”; in her own room she kept a private supply of the works of Miss Yonge. At ten, Katharine entered. “Has John gone ?“ said the aunt, putting in her mark and closing the Byronic volume.

Click here to see the story (from Making of America, Cornell University Library)

Click here for publication and page details.

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